When it comes to anime/manga/video game sub-hobbies, there are few out there more well known or as expensive as “Gunpla”. However, there are complete other series of model mecha that aren’t tied to Gundam. Generally, and this might just be me, I refer to these other series as “Build-A-Fig” kits. Before this writing, I had 3: all of them Mega Man characters, but thanks to the people over at Playasia, I can now say I have 4 and I’m excited to have added it to my collection. I may not have started on Gunpla proper, but I was able to build a new model kit which is always a very fun endeavor.
MODEROID: Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion: Shinkalion E5 Hayabusa
Company: Moderoid/Good Smile Company
Release Date: February 8th, 2019
Welcome to a new installment of “Niche Gamer Reviews Figures!” I’m going to be up front and honest with all of our readers regarding this figurine/model kit: I had never heard of this anime series prior to this model kit being sent out.
Honestly, I didn’t even know about the anime before I did some research for this review article. Several months ago I was on Playasia and browsing their upcoming and soon to expire pre-order section and came across this kit. At the time, I just thought it looked extremely cool.
We were able to pre-order this figure through Playasia and I’m excited to now be able to write about it and share it with our dear readers. All that aside, I will not even pretend to know about the anime.
So if I happen to get a few things wrong regarding how close the model matches the anime version or anything like that, I humbly apologize in advance. I shall try to keep this review solely to how the building of the fig went and its over all quality.
I should probably start off by reminding everyone that this is indeed a model kit. If you are lucky enough to find this kit through a retailer and feel the desire to pick it up, be aware that you will need to actually build the kit before you can display it.
As I said in the opening, before this kit, I had only put together 3 other such figs and they were much simpler than the E5 Hayabusa. Luckily, Hayabusa itself was not an overly complex build as far as I’ve learned.
Clocking in at about three and a half hours, most buyers should be able to assemble this kit with very little issue. Unfortunately though, all the instructions were in Japanese and there were a few sections of the construction that were not overly clear.
I did have to ask around to some peers who speak Japanese to clarify parts of the instructions. That said, even though I had to ask for clarification, before that I had a pretty good idea of what the instructions were trying to tell me.
In this instance, my instincts were correct, so I never really had many issues putting this model together.
Beyond that, all the pieces of this kit are attached to an over all sprue that holds all the pieces together. Most of the pieces were easy enough to snap off the sprue and I never feared that I would accidentally break an important piece while removing them.
This method however does tend to leave “tags” on the individual pieces, which will inevitably lead to the finish product not looking even close to most standards.
If you are in the market to start with model mecha kits, you would be doing yourself a favor by picking up a Gunpla starter kit, which will greatly help with future builds you may want to do. Personally, I made due with some toe nail clippers (unused thank you very much) and a straight blade.
While some of the pieces are extremely small and with the instructions all in Japanese, most of the build went without issue and Hayabusa is a very well done kit, standing at just between 4-5 inches.
Most of the joints and clasps with Hayabusa are snug and secure, and I really have no qualms with any of the poses I have wished to put it in so far. The only issue I have with this build and its quality are the knees.
Perhaps it was my relative inexperience with this kind of kit, or perhaps its just the quality of the model itself, but as of this writing I have not been able to get the knees of Hayabusa to connect with the lower legs.
The lower legs will sit snugly in to the joints of the knees and be relatively secure, but they will fall out if not placed in to the pose ahead of time.
This issue can be resolved with a small amount of super glue, but I have yet to take this path. Mostly because I’m loathe to take such a drastic step on an otherwise very well done model kit.
As far as the coloration and dimensions go for Hayabusa, I have been very happy with the kit. Like I said earlier, until now I was unaware of the anime that this model is based around.
I didn’t even realize that Hayabusa was supposed to be based off of a high speed rail train! As far as the coloration goes, the final model kit lines up very very well with the picture on the box as well as with the pictures in the instruction manual.
I’m not completely uninformed when it comes to model mecha kits, or even model kits in general, so I will say this: while Hayabusa looks very good with just the base colors of the different parts, hard core collectors and builders will probably want to spruce up the base colors.
You could probably do this with your own paints, to add in some extra flair. Luckily, this kit does come with extra decals that the builder can add post-completion to help the kit stand out.
All in all, while I was woefully ignorant of its origins, I am very happy with how E5 Hayabusa turned out. It is not the most difficult thing in the world to put together and outside of the issue with the knees and lower legs, the overall quality of the finished product is something I’m happy to have on my display shelf.
There are simpler model kits for a beginner to start with, but if you’re completely new to model kit building and would like to have a nice mecha for your own shelf, you could do much worse than this particular kit.
MODEROID: Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion: Shinkalion E5 Hayabusa model kit was reviewed with a set provided by Playasia. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Make sure to use our “NICHE” coupon when buying through their store!